The Small Town: Jamestown, North Dakota Populaton 15,427 (2010 Census)
The Claim to Fame: Dakota Thunder - The World's Largest Buffalo
Sixty tons of steel and concrete, 26 feet tall and 46 feet long, the world's largest buffalo sits massive and solitary on a hill overlooking the prairie in Jamestown, North Dakota. A fitting tribute to the North American bison if you ask me. Many, if not most, roadside attractions are a bit cheesy and silly. Tommy Turtle is a good example. Dakota thunder, (I can call him that now since he was recently named) on the other hand, always seemed a bit realistic to me. I've been face to face with couple of buffalo and this sculpture captures the amazing strength of this animal very well.
He always seemed sort of sad to me, as if he was looking out over the prairie, remembering the days when the buffalo ruled this turf in herds stretching to the horizon. Or it could be he's sad because of the annual humiliation he is subjected to at the hands of mischievous students from the local high school. Dakota Thunder, you see, is anatomically correct and it was (maybe still is?) a tradition for the graduating class of Jamestown High school to paint these anatomically correct male parts the school colors of black and white. I’m not sure whose job it is to paint the buffalo's, uh, stuff, back to the original color, but I would guess they don’t do it during business hours. This means some guy probably has to work late one night each year, telling his wife that his truck wouldn’t start or the hooves needed a late night touchup.
Here's a nice video of Dakota Thunder. -----> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXbRYm6t6yY